Before the coronavirus pandemic prompted a serious surge in online shopping — therefore increasing port congestion manifold — companies would typically get away with submitting drayage and transloading work orders with little notice. That has all changed over the past two years.
While drayage has faced demand surges, they have often been the relatively short-lived consequences of labor strikes or steamship company shutdowns. The impact of the pandemic has been much greater, and it is here to stay.
“The pandemic created some problems and it has highlighted existing issues in the supply chain,” Port X partner Tom Zeis said. “Drayage and transloading cannot be taken as an afterthought anymore. People can’t rely on sending a work order the day of arrival. They can’t get away with that anymore.”
Now, companies waiting until the last minute will find themselves racking up thousands of dollars in fees and surcharges while their freight sits in the port for days or weeks waiting for drivers and equipment to become available.
Port X helps their customers avoid serious holdups and staggering fees by helping them plan shipments as far ahead as possible and supplying all members of the supply chain with the access and visibility they need to get each shipment from its origin to its destination without delay.
While drayage-specific tech innovations have largely lagged behind the rest of the industry, Port X has worked with its technology partners to improve and increase their multimodal offerings.
“We rely on a number of pieces of tech. At the heart of it is our TMS platform,” Zeis said. “We started with Turvo at our inception four and a half years ago. It wasn’t built for multimodal transportation or drayage, but we have worked with them in enhancing and developing the platform to where it is today and where it continues to grow.”
Ultimately, the recipe to succeeding in drayage today is about planning, executing and communicating. Port X provides each member of the supply chain with the ability to see when a vessel is going to arrive and when a container goes on line hold. This visibility drives the workflows necessary to complete the shipment, including preparing drivers and alerting warehouses to incoming arrivals.